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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Live morning call-in program with  
   government officials, political leaders, and journalists.  

    January 29, 2013
    7:00 - 10:00am EST  

a representative of the atlantic council will discuss the influence of terrorist groups in north africa. is next. "washington journal" is next. host:a bipartisan group of senas has outlined a plan to overhaul immigration laws in the united states. president obama is on his first post inauguration trip in nevada. we will carry the remarks this afternoon. how should the laws on immigration reform be changed or enforced? here are the numbers to call. for democrats, 202-585-3880. for republicans, 202-585-3881. for independents, 202-585-3882.
you can also find us online, send us a tweet by writing to, or share your comments with us on facebook by searching for c- span. you can also e mail us, here is the headline from "the washington post," this morning -- "senators outline immigration plan." host: let's take a listen to some of that press conference from yesterday afternoon. senator chuck schumer opened things up. here is what he had to say about
the details so far. [video clip] >> americans overwhelmingly oppose illegal immigration and support legal immigration. to this end, we have four basic pillars. tough but fair passed to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the united states. second, reforming the legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help to build the american economy and strengthen american families. third, creating an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and and the hiring of future unauthorized workers. leslie, an approved process for admitting future workers to serve the nation's workforce needs while simultaneously protecting all workers.
other bipartisan groups of senators have stood in the same spot before, trumpeting similar proposals. but we believe that this will be the year that congress finally gets this done. the politics on this issue have been turned upside down. for the first time ever, there has been more political risk in opposing immigration reform than supporting it. host: senator chuck schumer, outlining the details of the immigration reform agreement so far. here is the headline from "roll call," this morning. host: here to talk more about this story, the staff writer at "roll-call," humberto sanchez.
have democrats been able to move the ball forward? caller: it appears so, but principle is a big step forward. senator schumer mentioned that. it has been tried for a couple of years and it seems to be the one area where republicans and democrats seem to agree that something needs to be done on tax issues or fiscal issues, where there has been an impasse for many years now. host: in terms of the principle, how detailed is the outline? are we talking about a bill taking shape or just a sketch at this point? caller: it is more of a sketch, the first step in trying to get an actual bill going. basically these are legislative goals that include four areas,
one is a package, one is overhauling the existing system, another is establishing a way to ensure that there is less illegal hiring of workers, and another is to create a guest worker program. but those goals, we do not know how that will be achieved or worked out over the next few months. things are supposed to get going here as soon as next month. senator schumer and the other senators believe that they could have something by late spring, early summer. host: looking at "the san antonio news," we have this headline -- "upset republicans." what are you hearing about republicans getting things through? caller: house republicans do not
seem to be on board. the former chairman of the judiciary committee call this amnesty. there are critical aspects of the party that will never agree to this, but senator rubio has credibility with that wing of the party and said that there are issues on the left and right, but that the path should be to take a centrist approach and work out something that is amenable to both parties, but does not betrayed the principles of either side of the political spectrum. host: the president is expected to go to nevada and make comments about immigration. how is the timing playing out? will we be hearing specifics from him? caller:, we understand, the
president is not going to be providing much more specifics than he has in the past, but what he is going to do is get to the beginning of a step down in complicated path. he was in contact with some of the members of the gang of eight yesterday, sunday. he was very pleased with the progress that they had made and was going to say that they had an agreement. they seem to be monitoring each other's progress, but the president as of yet does not intend to offer a specific bill. host: thank you so much, humberto sanchez. caller: thank you. host: president obama will carry the president's address in nevada live. our question for you this morning, your priorities for immigration reform. miriam is the first caller of
the day, democratic line, virginia. hello. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am very happy about the agreement, that is important. i also think that all the immigrants that we brought into this country for their cheap labor, we are certainly reaping what we so and we should give them citizenship. certainly the corporations have enjoyed them for the past 30 years. but what i am against is worker programs. right now we have unemployed americans. i know we keep hearing that they are doing jobs that americans will not do, but they are not. they are not willing to work for a wage so low that they cannot possibly raise their family or have a livable wage to even pay for insurance. this is my thing, forget the
guest worker program until we employ the americans who are here already. this guest worker program is exactly how we got here on. that is why we have 11 million undocumented workers and all we're doing is giving in to corporations wanting cheap labor. it is time to stop that. everything else on board, but we have to stop that. host: miriam mentioned the dream act. how will young people be dealt with under this bipartisan proposal? this is from yesterday. [video clip] >> it has been 12 years since i introduced the dream act. we never give up, when you need these young people, you cannot give up. but there were a lot of tears shed in the past. this time around, these young people, after the vote failed on the floor, i said i never give
up on you, do not give up on us. that is what this is about. the dream act will be difficult part of comprehensive immigration reform, giving people the chance they have been dreaming of, pleading for. these people have shown an extraordinary amount of courage, standing up and self identifying to the world who they were. when it came out, this issue started moving to a place where in the last presidential campaign, both candidates were asked their position on the dream act. i think it has been an integral part in bringing us to this moment in time and i would call this happy news for those dreamers. host: that was senator dick durbin, speaking yesterday about the dreamers, the nickname given to young adults who would be affected by the dream act. today pointing out that those
who enter the u.s. as children and illegal immigrants, to work in agriculture, they would have a different path to citizenship. details have not been finalized. there are other provisions dealing with young people. a tweet comes to us from j. kirk -- host: here is the headline from "the arizona republic," this morning. "our immigration system is broken." governor jan brewer, republican of arizona, responded to this proposal yesterday by saying "our nation cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the past. specifically "
host: james is up next in manassas, virginia. republican, hello, james. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am glad to see that this issue is finally being taken up. there are large numbers of illegal immigrants already here. if we come up with a solution that actually deals with both issues without irritating the people who are here, i think that is the main thing a lot of people looking for. looking to the people who really need it, being in a better place, we like to see the rules followed to get here.
in terms of trying to get everyone in and satisfy both sides, it is good to see the government trying to find a positive answer. host: this is from twitter -- host: mike, what do you think? new haven, ohio. independent line. caller: i am outraged. we have to take care of ourselves before we take care of other people coming into our country. we have already allowed 1 million people to come here legally. we refuse to enact the laws on the books because of corporate america. our elected officials have allowed the pimps to run the show. can anyone say libor ringing? they cannot even police
themselves. where the hell is the ethics committee that? host: a bipartisan plan faces resistance in the gop, that is the headline from "the new york times" today. the story that michael scherer talked about, skeptics in places like south carolina, it says in that story that republicans are betting on opposition from tea party activists, that the most conservative report -- most conservative supporters will continue to take a hard line on immigrants. the senators on monday released this blueprint for immigration policy one day ahead of the president's speech. evidence that the town and immigration may be changing, according to "the new york times."
host: we will hear more about dissension from this plan coming out. first, liz, texas, democrat. hello. caller: i had a couple of brief points to make. i am an educator, teaching english as a second language to students. i had a couple of comments, i hope i have time to make them. i noticed that several families will live in one house because they work for such low let -- such low wages, they cannot get by better than anyone else who is working for $5, and at $7 per hour. when you make that little money, you generally do not pay taxes. in most states you do not have to pay any at all. the other point i want to make,
if they're going to be here to work, they need to be paid the same as us, or let us do the jobs for a decent wage. we used to do that as kids, work on the farms for summer jobs. the other thing is gang members that are not documented, would they be deported and may be labeled domestic terrorists? that is basically what they are , domestic terrorists. i really like the dream act, but i am concerned about the in- state tuition question. i have to pay lots of money to go to school and out of state. i am concerned about if there are going to be, or if they are including in state tuition on this and what the impact will be on our education system. lots of these people need to be taught english and not everyone is qualified to do this. there are a lot of questions here, but overall i am for the
dream act. host: one answer to a question that you raised, this is from "usa today." the proposed pact includes this -- "a process for deportation." we mentioned descend from republicans about this proposal. this is from lamar smith, a senior member of the judiciary committee. host: benton, grand junction, colorado. caller: i lived overseas in saudi arabia and saw the importation of labour into that country from tree tonka, other places. the demand for that unskilled labor, such a that the documented saudi arabia, it gave me a perspective about what is
happening to the united states. i had been on the fence on how to deal with that. it made the practical reality for the need for unskilled workers in these advanced countries to do certain things, like what we saw happening in the united states -- i see this legislation as a pragmatic step toward making it a more manageable situation such that everyone benefits. i think that the hurdles, if you will, about citizenship and how they get there are reasonable, given that the united states is a highly desirable place for people to have a citizenship. i think it is a very progressive move. the fact that we are all immigrants, we need to be able to identify with the conditions with which these immigrants are coming to our country, we need to embrace that. i think that the law proposed in
the senate is something that would truly do that, carrying on the great tradition that we have that is a real strength of our country, that immigrants are part and parcel of the heart of this country. thank you. host: this comes from crag, on facebook. host: two of our followers like that. you could join the conversation on c-span -- on facebook, look for c-span. warren, good morning. caller: it is my belief that the reason that this failed last time is that people just do not trust politicians -- excuse my bronchitis. i am concerned about the problems with people on welfare. basically, then using a system
that is already taxed to the limit right now. i agree that we are a nation of immigrants, but at the same time i am afraid that many important things would be swept under the carpet a few years after the fact, and by then it will be too late. i just do not trust politicians to keep their word. thank you. host: senator john mccain yesterday at the bipartisan press conference, talking about why he thinks members of his party should get behind the proposal. caller -[video clip] >> the republican party is losing the support of the disparate regions of the hispanic citizens. this is a preeminent issue for those citizens. i think that over the years, republicans in particular, but also democrats and all of our
citizens have realize the reality of what all of my colleagues just stated. we cannot continue as a nation with 11 million people residing in the shadows. we have to address the issue and it has to be done in a bipartisan fashion. if we do succeed, and i think that we will, it will be a testimony -- testimonial to the efforts of ted kennedy from years ago, which laid the groundwork for this agreement. this agreement has very little difference from that legislation that was brought by senator kennedy some years ago. host: john mccain of arizona, speaking yesterday. anita, new york, independent line. caller: it may be different in new york city, but why do these politicians assume that all of these illegals are mexicans. in new york city there are massive numbers of people from poland, china, italy.
that was my number one thing. , these people do not suffer the consequences of the mexicans, cubans do not emigrate, they arrive here as political refugees, much like the russian jews. thus the united states is a safe haven to certain people. i do not understand why these gentlemen are representing the latino community when their constituents mostly do not suffer the same consequences. i think that a lot of illegal onlys, let's be clear, not on the nomenclature, but giving people all the information. thank you. host: john, port city -- port st. lucie.
caller: we have a $6 trillion deficit and we are worried about illegal immigrants? this is ridiculous. talk about the dream back. there are dramatic kids and dramatic parents. if we are not sending the kids home, send a parent's home. this mantra about 12 million, there are not 12 million, there are at least three times that. something happened in '86 when at -- when the republican president gave amnesty. they said that it would only be 1 million and it turned out to be 3 million. three times again. we are talking about at least 36 million. another thing that people forget is that the last time they tried this, four or five years ago, it was not the republicans that shot this town, it was the american people. democrats like me, people fed up with people breaking the law.
the back of the line is not staying in this country, the back of the line is going back your country. there are people in other countries trying to get here. it costs a lot of money to get here legally. the last thing i want to say is this word, reform. what does that mean? we have laws on the books. there are stacks of volumes stacked high and it is ridiculous. just enforce the laws that we have. congress always does this nonsense, thinking that they have this big hand where everything will be solved. we have a $16 trillion deficit. if we cannot figure that out, my parents and grandparents came here legally, not be legally. host: you mentioned existing laws. would you step up enforcement? on other things about the
current immigration law the would change? caller: if you talk to border patrol agents, every time congress opens the route, you have people running across the border -- how will you approve the people that lived here -- you could come across yesterday and say you have been here for 10 years? every day at work i see people coming in with fraudulent documents. how will you prove who has been here 10 years as opposed to yesterday? we've been talking about this for five years, 10 years now. you have to stop the flow before you can talk about any idea of giving any legal status. not just citizenship. one thing that you mentioned earlier is that this is just an outline. chuckie schumer is just talking
about an outline. we do not know with a bill will do until we pass it. one less thing, the dream that was never passed by congress, it was an executive order. thank you. host: president obama has put in place an executive order, not the same thing as the dream act, though it can affect the same populist. we can read more about that in a moment. from "the washington times," this headline, "mirroring 2007."
host: ophelia, buffalo, new
york, republican line. caller: good morning. i have a question. we are a land of laws. if you are illegal, you are breaking the law. another thing, when you call in on the phone and the kind of business, you have to press one for english, two for spanish. i do not understand if we have to just do spanish, why not italian or french? we still press one for english and two for spanish. host: what would you change in current law? what would you do different in terms of enforcement? caller: if someone is illegal, you send them back home. breaking the law? you should be punished. punished for breaking the law. if you break the law, you go
home. host: james, an independent line, california. caller: i do not think it is proper to reward illegal activity. kids in junior high school the cannot even go to junior college, it just does not seem like we have the room. it seems we should send them the bill for these people who have spent time in the u.s., send them back to mexico and send them the college bill. send the bill for k-12 to mexico.
host: that is james in california. this is what joseph says on twitter -- host: another comment from twitter -- host: thomas, frankfort, kentucky, a democrat. caller: good morning, thank you for accepting my call. first of all, i was watching the senators on another channel and it would not make a comment on how the borders would be secured, ok? do you hear me? host: we can hear you. are you saying you want to hear some specifics on what it would do in terms of the border? caller: that is correct, but it would not talk to that.
if you could give me time to make a statement about something else? john kerry, would you please go back into your archives and pull out a video that he showed when he was running for president in 2004? it shows him chasing down a vietnamese soldier who was unarmed and wounded. john kerry chased him down and shot him in the head. that is a war crime. instead of him being secretary of state, he needs to be tried for murder and a war crime. i do not know why that this is not brought out. john kerry is not fit to be secretary of state. a greatu, ma'am, have day. host: we're focusing on immigration reform laws, your
priorities, what would you like to see implemented or enforced? thomas calling us from ohio. what part? caller: hanoverton. host: what part of the state is that? did you feel that immigration was a big deal in the election? caller: only in that they were going to do nothing about it. when they did surveys and everything, they wanted to look at what people were doing and stuff, they really did not care. our congress and stuff, everything they're doing is on that. i think we need to votejohn on y congressman and senator around the country. the one that we put in a few years ago, we need to go from there. it would be so easy. you put two fences along the entire border, chain-link fences.
make it 6 feet high, 8 feet high, put wires through the middle and joysticks on certain parts. you have guns in between. it would be so simple. and then all the people in this country right now, you know what? they have been here for all these years, there is no way that we would send them back, like that guy says. to me they should just let them stay in this country and make anyone who comes to this country get a job and as soon as they come here, pay taxes. look at the ayrabs, they do not have to pay no taxes for five years. host: why do they not have to pay taxes? caller: i was told by one of them, a friend of mine runs the station, he says they go back
and switch back and forth. i was talked -- talking to another friend, when he came over from yugoslavia, that when he did that, it was the same thing. that is what these guys told me, they are good friends of mine. host: ok. caller: the guy talking about taxes, what he is saying about unions and everything, he was talking about the unions and stuff, unions are representing obama. unions are turning around and taking, putting all this money, obama has to pay back the kickbacks to them. he is paying back wall street, the lenders, he paid back all those people. that is where the stimulus money went. there should be a law, if they want to pass new things and balance the budget, this president should not be allowed to touch one dime to give to any organization or starting a
business or nothing. host: let's look at this from "the seattle times." this question that you brought up about taxes -- host: vincent is next in california, democratic line. hello, vincent. caller: i believe that this issue is more of a population issue than a race issue.
i am 18, but i have experienced this, it just does not seem fair to issue it to just like certain mexicans. that is what we are going towards, the mexican race. the talk over illegal immigrants is a big issue, but to meet it just does not make any sense. host: let's hear from senator marco rubio, part of the bipartisan group the spoke to the press yesterday. caller: none of this is possible if we do not address the fact that there are 11 -- [video clip] >> none of this is possible if we do not address that the -- the fact that there are 11 million illegal immigrants.
no one wanted this to happen, but we have to address it in a way that spares the people who are doing it the right way, the hundreds to come to our office every year whose relatives around the world are waiting in line to come here legally. we have to be fair to them and make sure that we do not do anything that encourages people to come here illegally in the future. by the same token, we're dealing with 11 million human beings, the vast majority of them have come here in pursuit of what we have all recognized as the american dream. that is what we endeavor to move forward here on. on both sides of this issue there are legitimate points to be raised. people concerned about how much this will cost the american economy. we have to be frank about that $16 trillion. by the same token, we have to be honest with ourselves about how important immigration is for the economy, agriculture, and other labor.
host: that was marco rubio, speaking yesterday. here are some comments coming in from facebook. host: those are all on our facebook page, look for c-span. since victor mentioned funding for the recovery efforts of hurricane sandy, "the new york times" has this headline -- "hurricane eight wins approval in congress." -- aid wins approval in congress."
host: other news, the office working to close guantanamo bay has been closed. this is from "the new york times," yesterday.
host: this is from the wall street journal, "boy scouts rethinking gay ban." host: we are talking about immigration reform and enforcement and want to hear your proposals and priorities. bob is the next caller from philadelphia, republican line. caller: good morning, thank you for taking my call. what really gets me is that they're saying that we have this mess that we have to deal with, but we have this mess because of john mccain, the anti gramm, dick durbin, the people who have been there for decades and of the oath of office, they failed the american people.
this is one time where we, the people, democrats and republicans need to come together and flood washington with phone calls and stop this in its tracks. it is we the people in charge, not them with their failed solutions. now they are shutting it down our throats? we need to speak again and let them know that they work for us. this is so disgusting. i am so disgusted with the republicans like mccain, who needs to retire or get voted out quickly. host: richard, good morning. caller: good morning. the thing with the politicians is that they determine the gravity of the law, and the solution for this immigration thing would be to sort of comb
the incarceration rates and the numbers of people's who have been in this country for similar offenses, such as the immigrants in this country. for every person who comes to this country illegally, some amnesty is granted. for every prisoner who has committed a crime of equal intensity. that is my comment. thank you. host: this is from a ban on twitter -- dan on twitter -- host: here are some graphics from "the washington post" on living and leaving the united
states. the host: here are the estimated authorized the a grants from 2000 to 2011, and u.s. citizenship numbers in the thousands, starting in 2001 and going through last year. deportation numbers from the united states, some callers have asked about those numbers. non-criminal, criminal deportation in the darker shade. in 2012 you can see 225,000 convicted criminals, 184,000 non-criminal deportations from the united states. marshalltown, iowa, democratic line, good morning. caller: but morning, everyone.
economically they need to look at it. these are things that we should be looking at more. taking over the presidency, becoming a part of that. tear down the borders, just like they did with berlin wall. a lot of people look at it as standing together. john mccain and the rest of them? bipartisan dictatorship? mark rubio is not going to help. obama put this in place for immigrants to cross the borders. we have a lot of things to look at. move forward to see what we can do about the stuff.
have a good day. host: this is from twitter -- host: jim is our last caller on immigration, from louisville, ky. caller: mexican cartels, it is estimated that they make something like $2 billion per year on the illegals coming here. recently we just had a couple months ago our little house in kentucky, there was a mexican and two mexican women there. they found $1 million in cash and drugs in the house. they understand, the police were afraid to try to show their
faces too much on television because they thought they might have some mexican cartel coming after them. this is really -- i just think there is a criminal element in all of this and something needs to be done. host: do you have any ideas of how you would tackle that? caller: first thing i would do, we had a storm here in town, it was like $175 million. there were all of these illegal immigrants in here working. the way that they do it is, they send all of those crews out to the jobs, they never have anyone from the company go out there, that way they cannot say -- well, i have seen it illegals out there working -- i have seen illegals out there working.
the first thing you have to do is go after the people working. host: ok, that is jim, calling us from kentucky. if you would like to see the full press conference, you can go to our website, coming up next, we will meet two freshmen members of the house. congressman luke messer is the first, later on we will talk to john delaney. we will be right back. ♪ >> georgia o'keeffe was really the first well-known woman artist, even from her life in the 1970's there was no one who could match her fame.
she became a feminist icon, and i grew up under that influence. my first recognition of her work was not as an art historian, but a feminist whose attention was drawn to these fabulous paintings. i lived in colorado, people talked about this woman and a way that she lived. she came to new mexico four months out of the year, living apart from her husband in the 1930's and 1940's. she continued to do this for 20 years until her husband's death. then she moved to new mexico full-time. she lights up our imagination as an artist because she was so famous, so young. secondly, she lived the life she wanted to win -- live the life she wanted to live and was a very disciplined her husband's . woman.
that stands out as women made choices right through to the 1970's, choices to accommodate family and other pursuits in their life. georgia o'keeffe had one driving passion in her life, her art. >> the georgia o'keeffe museum, just one of the places you will see on book tv and american history tv as we look behind the scenes of the literary and artistic life of santa fe. >> all of us worked very hard before we got to the white house. the white house was an enormous pushup. the day before you are married to the president-. elect, no one gives a darn what you say. the day after he is the president-elect, people think you are brilliant, which helps.
[laughter] >> the new c-span series, "first ladies-influence and image." produced with the white house historical association. on c-span, c-span radio, and c- >> "washington journal" continues. host: congressman luke messer is a republican from indiana, serving as the republican class president. why have you run for office? what do you hope to accomplish? guest: i was a staff person out here, 15 years ago. i have been back in indiana over the last decade with my family. like most americans, i feel
like they are spending too much money in washington. i was part of the leadership team in indiana, which has been led by mitch daniels over the last few years. we have been operating with a much leaner government. i think some of those lessons could be applied to washington. host: some governors are calling for change in the republican party. how do you bring about that change? is it tough, having spent time in washington already? guest: most leaders in the republican party do not believe that we need to change our principles, lower taxes, economic opportunity -- those have worked for several years. what might need to change is how we talk about those opportunities. it is math and we need to do our
arithmetic correctly. for a government that does not waste dollars and put money back in the pockets of everyday americans, with better opportunities to retire with prosperity. there is some wisdom there in the fact that we need to think about the way we market our ideas. host: how has this year's republican class freshman group been different from the one that came in in 2010? what is the overriding characteristic of your group? guest: in terms of where we are similar, it is a very conservative group that wants to see very lower taxes and less government. i have not spoken to a single member who believe they came here with a mandate to raise taxes. but i think there are ways where we are different. this is a group of people that came here not just to be something, but to do something.
people with a pragmatic view on balance checkbooks and private business. we have many members of the military out there who have fought wars and who in the real world you have to get along, even if you disagree. it is not that we are less conservative, but we might be able less fire breathing. host: how did you become class president? guest of the campaign for that began just a few days after the election. we started picking those within a few weeks. we have 35 members in the class. in the end it was not a contested election, i was able to run out in front and do it by acclamation. tot: let's take a listen comments made recently by john boehner, who was speaking before a conservative group.
here is his conversation about the dynamic of president obama and the gop. [video clip] >> it is pretty clear that the president knows he cannot do any of that as long as the house is controlled by republicans. over the next 22 months we intend that to be the focus of the administration, as they attempt to annihilate the republican party. let me say that i believe that that is their goal, to shove us into the dustbin of history. host code you agree with the speaker, that the president wants to annihilate the gop? guest: when you look at the speeches, the state of the state, state of the union -- sorry, the inaugural speech,
that is usually a time viewed as bringing people together, the better angels of our nature. frankly, i think that his speech was pretty partisan. a combination of what was left of a campaign speech and the beginning of a state of the union speech. it is clear that they would like to see a democrat-controlled congress. as conservatives in charge of the house and people responsible for governing, the american people expect us to do our jobs as well. we have done that some. i think you will see it even more in the debate comes up over the next month. continuing resolutions, sequesters, and i think you will see conservatives' standing strong to make sure that our view is part of this coalition. host: how did you vote on the debt ceiling issue? guest: i did vote for the no budget, no pay bill. i believe it is an important
principle. i just left this weekend, handing copies out in the district. people think that we have to stop spending money that we do not have. as i mentioned, budgets are not the sexiest topic. it is difficult to get 1 million people to march on the capital because we do not have a budget, but what families, small- business owners, church leaders, school board members understand is that if you do not have a budget, you spend more. it is remarkable what has, on. in some ways the bill was a gimmick, but within a few hours patty murray held a press conference announcing that we would pass a budget this year. i think that that is vital in bringing together some sort of compromise over the course of the next several months. it is difficult to have legitimate policy discussions
without numbers to look at. host: congressman luke messer, from the sixth district of indiana. woodbridge, virginia, democratic line. hello. caller: i want to address people who say they are conservative in the congress, but then do 20 or 30 abortion bills. they start a program like homeland security in 2000, going from zero to over 800,000 federal employees. they call themselves conservatives and are not cutting anything. we started two wars. that is huge.
i have a whole bunch of other things, but i am kind of nervous. host: you give us a lot of things and in your call. your response? guest: the caller identifies with the frustration eupepsia -- all across this country. it has been touted that the approval rating of congress has been around 12%. some of that is earned, but it's continue to grow. you are about to see over the next four, six, eight weeks the policy dynamics of the sequester, it will happen unless something changes, paul ryan, speaker boehner and others, they expect a sequester to hold. for the first time in a long time on something the government will be spending less money on something this year. host: republican caller, go ahead.
guest: thank you -- caller: thank you for taking my call. congratulations on your appointment as freshman president. my comment is that i am hoping that our freshmen republicans are going to toe the line and stop the rhetoric and get on message to cope with spending, decreasing our federal budget. talking about the debt limit coming up, i hope they have the wisdom and the strength. i do not believe the message we're sending out there is appropriate on the debt limit. what is annoying to me is that when they say the credit ratings dropped because of the partisanship in washington, it is because of the budget. i wish you luck.
thank you. guest: i think the caller makes an important point. the caller made the point that our messaging needs to get better. from my perspective, that is us talking about the why. i have an 85-year-old grandmother that celebrated her birthday this past week, has worked her entire life and she cannot survive without social security and medicare. we need to protect those programs. i have a 63-year-old mother nearing retirement who has worked in a factory her entire life. we need to protect social security and medicare for those nearing retirement. the president talked about this metaphorical four-year-old girl that is waking up in america and wants the opportunity to
succeed. i lived that life. i was raised by a single mother. we lived in a factory town in indiana and i have lived this opportunity for the american dream and we want to make sure the next generation has the same opportunity but that will only happen if we quit spending money that we do not have. if we continue to pass this debt onto future generations, we risk an america that is different than the one we grew up on. it does not have to be, in the next couple of months will be the debate that gets that done. host: let's hear from john in indianapolis on our independent line here at -- independent line. caller: hi. i was wondering if you were going to do something for the people in indiana.
the fact that we pay welfare to a billionaire so his team of millionaires can have money, and do not commit the rhetoric about jobs. guest: the caller makes an important point. we need a growing economy. the best way to balance the budget is a growth rate of three percent-five percent, and the way to do that is tax reform, most people in indiana are not interested in congress bringing the bacon home, but people voting for the policies that will grow our economy and get us to better paying jobs. one of the things the caller points out and it is very important, for many workers the wage scale is going down.
host: the last caller was from indianapolis. tell us about your district. guest: it is 19 counties. it stretches from winchester and muncie, then in the center part of the district it is in greenville, shelbyville, and then madison on the river. it is a district of manufacturing and agricultural communities, what i call courthouse towns -- and it is also where i grew up. i grew up in greensburg, indiana, played high school sports in many of those counties, and i have been raising my family in shelbyville, indiana, with our daughters and our young son.
host: a comment of -- on twitter -- what surprised you the most since becoming a new person in congress? guest: really the pace. 15 years ago i was a press secretary for ed bryant and walked him into the studio and was starstruck, but even as a staff person i had no idea how busy these people are. i think at times it makes it difficult to process policy. the entire going so quickly. the second is one cash, but as a state legislator, we have something called a quorum, which means if you are debating you can call a quorum and force members to listen to you so that business can continue. in congress, there is no quorum. at times if you tuned in and it seems like nobody is there, it
is because nobody is there. i think it makes it challenging in processing public policy. i understand in part why it is not that way. people are busy. the third thing, maybe, the very first day i was there we voted on a portion of the sandy relief aid, the $9 billion related to the insurance program. that was almost all of indiana 's first-year budget, and that that was my first day of work. the size of the money is remarkable. host: kirsten luke messer, worked for ed bryant, and was legal counsel for huntsman jimmy duncan. he also worked for -- congressman jimmy duncan. he also worked as a counsel on regulatory affairs. in indiana, he has served in the
state house of representatives and is the executive director and chief spokesman of the indiana republican party. he cofounded a nonprofit called child share indiana and was the executive director of hoosiers for economic growth. what is that? guest: it is a combination that is essentially very involved in the education reforms of the last four years, a counterbalance to the state teachers union. under the governor leadership -- governor's leadership, we have some of the most aggressive education reform policies in the country. it was a great program, a great experience and an opportunity to build on my prior experience as a state legislator. host: louisiana. democrat on the line.
byron. caller: i realized the congressman is young, but instead of disparaging the president's inaugural address, i would suggest he reads ronald reagan's inaugural address. plus, if he would read something besides "the wall street journal" or watch fox news, he would have a different perspective. guest: i do read things other than "the wall street journal" and watch things other than fox news. there is this question about whether president obama is trying to push forward a different vision of america, and
i happen to agree with ronald reagan's vision more. he called us to larger challenges than barack obama and i do not want to dissect the entire inaugural address, my biggest criticism would be that rather than calling us all -- as john kennedy said, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country, president obama asked us to solve problems through government intervention. i do not think that is the answer. while we were sent here to push our philosophy forward, we were also sent here to work together , and i am proud that i have reached out to at least one of the democratic class presidents, and we are working across the aisle to put together a host of bipartisan events in the freshman class. between the 47 democratic
congressmen, and 35 republicans, we have 92 new folks, and when you combine that with the class of two years ago, more than one third of the chamber has been here for less than a couple of years. there is partisan gridlock in washington. the public is tired of it, and part of it is because people do not know each other. it is harder to demonize people that you know. we have a couple of aunts together, we will doing bowling -- of events together, and we will doing bowling event next month. host: let's look at the number of freshmen in the house. 83 in total sworn in this month , 48 democrats, 35 republicans. martin, st. james, florida, hi, martin herod -- martin.
caller: thanks for taking the call. mayor bloomberg has petitioned the federal government to pay for his police force while they operated during hurricane sandy. he turned down the national guard. herodin nassau county, the natl guard took control, and my mother who lived there and had been wiped out, was safe. in rockaway beach, where my daughter lives and was wiped out, they put up signs, you loot, we shoot. it was a very bad thing the mayor did. i think he did it on purpose with disaster capitalism. that is how the government works, and he should have beeniy jailed, actually, for porting those generators, but i digress. you are a congressman. stopped at $72 million. let him take his police force and take the summer off and go
to rockaway beach and enjoy the sand. guest: first, i need to apologize as i saw your math, it was 83 and i said something in the 90's for new congressman. the caller expresses frustration in the challenges over hurricane sandy, and i think the debate has been mischaracterized by some. i voted against the final version of the sandy bill that came out of the house, not because i do not believe there should be federal aid by those struck by the tragedy, but in the current climate if we are going to provide that aid to an extraordinary event like a hurricane, we have to offset the expense elsewhere. as far as the nuances, or the specifics of the governing challenges of mayor bloomberg, frankly i am not aware of the details the caller is referencing.
host: yesterday, a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a framework of innovation -- immigration reform. let's listen to senator menendez talking about the motivation for the legislation. [video clip]>> lastly, as someone who is an advocate of making sure that our economy is strong as a result of immigration reform, and also that we preserve a core value of family unification. how do we do that in a way that is smart and promotes illegal immigration as opposed to having families divided for so long and then pressures on to make choices on becoming reunified. i believe we can take care of all of those issues. host: is that a good reason to push legislation forward? guest: i like that better than the political reason. some have cited we need immigration reform because
republicans have not won elections but i do not think we should set our public policy on immigration on challenges we might have elect orally. the -- electoraly. we should set our agenda on what is the most fair way to deal with the challenges, as currently the system is broken. it is not working for anybody. it is not working in the urban immunities, and certainly not in the counties that i represent in eastern indiana. we need to keep clear governing vegetables in mind. it starts with border -- principles in mind. it starts with border security. it is difficult to have a conversation without the american people understanding that for national security reasons and reasons of fairness , that the border is secure. we can not have blanket
leadership for folks that came here illegally and certainly not given preference over people that have been complying with the rules. that said, i do see immigration reform is one of the areas where there is opportunity for bipartisan consensus to emerge and i am optimistic to see both in the cretin republicans talking about this issue -- both democrats and republicans talking about this issue. host: based on what you have heard, would you sign off? guest: i would reserve signing off until i see the legislation, but a program that starts with securing our border and recognizes we cannot give like it citizenship to people that have been breaking the rules and have been undocumented in the time they have been here is an important start to the process. i have followed a lot of what marco rubio has had to say, and his argument that the current
process results in a de facto amnesty because the current folks are here without penalty and not sent home is a persuasive argument and we need a system that works for everybody. host: here is an e-mail from tom -- i keep hearing that there are 11 million illegals in the us, but that number has stayed, -- has remained constant. before he make a decision, should we not get an accurate count of not just those hispanic speaking, but from asian countries, european countries and those around the globe? guest: that is the challenge, and the e-mail makes an important point. what we can do is what was done in the 1980 costs, where they did give blanket amnesty, and there was supposed to be
undocumented worker program and border security and those things did not happen. it is the beginning of the process, but it has to start with border security and the recognition that we cannot give blanket citizenship to folks that have been breaking the rules third host: representative luke messer, representing the six district of indiana and republican first class resident. neil, republican line. connected it. hi, neil. caller: i think the senators should continue with their pay -- without pay, as those guys make a fortune. host: ok. caller: what they should do is not allowed bills to be passed until the balanced budget is none. gun-control and immigration are hot items and they are using those to smokescreen the balanced budget so people take their minds off of the balanced
budget, but if you are not allowed to have any bills made during that time, then they would be able to get something done quicker, i think. the senate does not care if they do not get paid for a a while, because they will get it in retro anyway. host: ok, no bill, no pay. guest: the caller makes a good point. within a few hours of the house passing the bill, patty murray announced they would pass a budget for the first time in four years out of the u.s. senate. most people recognize that if you do not do your job, you should not get paid. that should apply to congress as well. we will most certainly pass a budget out of the house of representatives and chairman ryan has made that commitment. the caller makes another point that in our nation's current public policy debate, the
elephant in the room, the moose on the table, is our national debt. it is difficult to talk about other topics until this nation stop spending money it does not have been starts the path toward economic recovery that would come if we have a balanced budget. as a matter of priorities, i agree that the balanced budget should come first and i support a balanced budget amendment to our us constitution. it works for state governments, and i think it would work in the federal government, but i did support the no budget, no pay bill. host: representative mcmorris rodgers, ted on a government shutdown.
host: representative mcmorris rodgers is the chairwoman. what do you think about that? guest: she is highlighting that republicans have conviction that we as a nation do not -- have to stop spending money that we do not have. we cannot continue to pile debt on future generations. host: how much is that a threat as opposed to a reality -- are you willing to go that far? guest: we are sitting in the quiet before the storm is the sequester comes due and the continuing resolution. the sequester is part of the law and it means we will spend less money this year. the president has the discretion to exercise what things he pays for and does not pay for as the budget is reduced. the continuing resolution is another matter, and we could well be where we were in the
1990's if we cannot reach a continuing resolution compromise that both sides can agree to. i think kathy is right. republicans mean business and the president will have to come to the table and work with us or we could see some fireworks. host: bill, hyattsville, maryland, a democrat. hi, bill. caller: can you hear me? host: we sure can. caller: i would like to know from the congressman what exactly is he willing to cut from his district specifically in order to reduce the budget and spending. i keep hearing from republicans about this cutting spending, but nobody is talking about specifics. is he willing to cut and tell the public, the american people,
something he is willing to sacrifice from his district? what is he specifically talking about cutting from his district? host: ok. guest: i have made clear to our district that we are past the point of sacred cows in this process. we need to look everywhere. secondly, in the $1.2 trillion sequester that will come through in the next few weeks, that includes a 10% cut from my own congressional budget, which will amount to a staff person or two that we are not able to hire because of the sequester, and third, i have made very clear that in the current economic climate, i do not support earmarks and i do not believe we should have earmarks directed at my district or any other districts for that matter. it is not the kind of thing we can afford in the current economic market.
in the future, we will have to look at some sort of capital projects process where we are able to have transparency for those kinds of projects, but certainly now i oppose any earmarks, including those to my district. host: congressman messer is our guest, and he is serving as the freshman public in class president. milton, florida. linda is a republican. caller: i feel like the republicans are taking a backseat. they are letting the democrats just do whatever -- they are rewriting the laws. in florida, our votes did not even count. on the immigration, i feel that they are here illegally and the government is giving them medical care and, then, jobs.
i just do not think that is right for the american people, that we are taking back seats, and we are republicans, and they are letting democrats do whatever to rewrite the laws and the constitution. i do not think that is right and i think it is time that the republicans and the americans stand up and stop letting the democrats do what they think is right, and i do not think it is right. host: ok. guest: the caller referenced several things we talked about earlier in this program. one of the point is we will see in the coming six, eight weeks, a conversation about the direction we need to go and i think you will see republicans stand strong. immigration reform is an important topic, as the caller referenced. there are clear principles --
secure borders, and we can not have blanket citizenship for folks that have been here in violation of the rules and the laws come in any program that passes must comply with those principles at a minimum. i think the caller points out a frustration many of us have. i voted for mitt romney for president, and i believe republican leadership is the way we ought to get it, but there was an election and we have to figure out how to work with a democratically controlled senate and president obama going forward. we do not have two more years to waste as a country, and the balance we are trying to find is a way to stand strong on our principles and figure out a way to move our country forward. host: illinois. phyllis, independent caller. caller: good morning.
what i would like to discuss is they are complaining about spending, but the spending has to do with the fact that we do not have good jobs here. minimum wage jobs is what is going on, so they will not collect taxes that supports our country. number two, two, take something like walmart that has two factories in china, and they ship back a boombox that cost $250, the total cost is $82 to them. the same with general motors. the pickup truck, they sell it for $17,800. the total cost to them is $7,200. there is no tax on the difference going into our income tax for congress to support us.
they are all about free trade, and they should end the war that is costing us over $1 trillion a year. and the war, ring the troops home and use the -- and the war , bring the troops home, and build ships that protect our country. host: let go to congressman messer for a response. guest: the number one point that i would take from all of that is that she is right. the key to getting the country moving again is a growing economy. we have a debate about which philosophy will do the best job moving the country forward. the president has called for higher taxes. we not only had them midnight legislation that raised income taxes, but you also had payroll tax increases on virtually every american, and the health care package has tax increases in it as well.
we will not get further revenue from additional tax increases. the best way to get further revenue is to have more workers , more jobs, which gives you more taxpayers, and that is the republican vision that we will work toward to get that done. host: georgia. go ahead, caller. caller: good morning. it bothers me regarding immigration that senator menendez is on the bipartisan group of eight but he tried to cover up that he hired a staffer that was not only illegal, but also had a criminal history. we'll he be sanctioned, or at least -- will he be sanctioned, or at least is that not hypocritical? guest: i would have to learn more about the allegations. i am not familiar with them. those charges are meaningful and serious, but it is hard to comment without more information.
host: we find this news story from cbs, from december, senator menendez's intern was arrested, and he employed an illegal immigrant that was once a sex offender who is now under arrest. the office is not being held responsible for that. immigration and customs enforcement was initially not responding for comments aired -- comments. this tweet wants to know if you took the grover norquist pledge. guest: i did sign the pledge to not raise taxes. i believe the key to getting america turned around is a growing economy and the best way to get revenue is to have more jobs, more taxpayers and tax revenue that comes from that. i do not think the solution is to raise more taxes, so i
signed the pledge gladly. host: when we have you back here in a year or two years, what will be your strongest recollection to your start in congress? guest: we are on the cusp of a big debate about spending and we will be talking about a debate in one year where we have started to bend the cost curve and started to spend less. it might be a small victory, what a remarkable achievement if we spend less money this year than we did the year before. that does not happen often in washington. i am not so hopeful that this partisan effort with the democratic -- i am also hopeful this bipartisan effort with the democratic leadership blossoms into something well. i believe you can stand strong on principles but also have civility and i think we can do a little bit to improve the environment. host: sasha on twitter is
advocating for more specifics when you talk about earmarks for your district. is it hard as an incoming freshman to take the lumps of what it means to cut spending for your constituents? guest: cutting my own budget by 10% is a significant reduction, and beyond that we have reached a point as a nation where there will be no sacred cows. the pledge we made as a house republican team is that our budget will balance in 10 years and now paul ryan budget of just last year had a lot of praise, and rightfully so because it was the only show in town, but it balance in about 20 years. that is a remarkable difference. you will see means testing of social security and medicare, probably benefit reductions that would apply to folks closer to
60 in age and a specific plan of proposals that we will roll out in the budget committee over the next couple of months. listen, we are not quick -- kidding. we have to stop spending meet -- money we do not have as a nation. host: commerce and luke messer, indiana's six the strict. take you for joining us here to welcome back. -- thank you for talking to us here and welcome back. in a few moments, we will go to another incoming freshman, john delaney, and then later on al qaeda's presents -- presents in africa. >> speaking of the presence in africa, the fighting continues in mali and the us is continued -- considering a larger presence with a tro base -- drone base
possibly being built. an agreement signed yesterday sets rules for american military presence in the nation of the sheer. -- nigeria. a drone operation would enable the us to give help to french and malian troops. florida republican representative jeff miller, head of the house panel that oversees veterans issues says patients that have trouble getting timely, mental health care should have another option -- access to the thousands of healthcare providers that care for military families. the proposal borrows from the playbook of republican mitt romney who raised the idea during the presidential campaign. congressman miller said the proposal would double overnight the number of psychiatrists available to veterans who need mental health treatment.
senate majority leader harry reid said he anticipates a full senate vote on the confirmation of john kerry to be the next secretary of state. the foreign relations committee is set to confirm the nomination and send it on to the full senate. large senate coverage to get that 10:00 a.m. eastern time on c-span -- coverage begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern time on c- span2. >> one cannot count the times that american say we are the best country in the world. what a marvelously stupid thing to say. of all the countries in the world, everybody think they are pretty good. why do we have to believe we are the best? what does that mean why do we
have -- mean, and why do we have to assert it all of the time? what does it mean to other people that consume it? american products go around the world -- information products go around the world, serving people in every corner of the world. we teach them not to like us, gratuitously. >> author, and -- activist and transafrica founder, randall robinson taking your calls and tweets sunday at noon eastern on booktv on c-span2. >> "washington journal " continues. host: timesman john delaney is
representing maryland's -- timesman john delaney is representing maryland's six district area -- six district. host: how do you give the of the work? guest: we have to this year, and to next year. and our job is to make sure people who want to get to know what the colleagues views are and work with our colleagues. there is four of us selling the works -- workload. host: you have never worked in congress. why start now? guest: i think i understand how the private sector works and what we need to do is a country to create jobs, and it is my time to make a difference, so i am excited to be here.
host: you are the only member of congress that started to new york stock exchange listed companies before you turned 40. guest: i am an entrepreneur by background, starting to companies in the financial service industries. one is focused on providing loans to small and midsized healthcare companies. then i started a company called capitalsource, which is a broad- based lender to small and midsized companies around the country. we have created several thousand jobs, helped thousands of businesses to grow. it is still a public company today and thriving. host: what is the background of a -- does the background of the cao -- ceo bring to congress?
guest: i happened to be unique in owning public companies, but we have a different perspective on how the private sector works, what is needed to create jobs, the role of government and the private sector, and how they can come together to benefit citizens. if you go around the world and look at places where the economies are thriving, you see very good public/private harder ships and that is what i -- partnerships, and that is what i would like to work for. host: if you would like to talk, here are the numbers -- you are one of the wealthiest house members. how do you stay in touch with your constituents? guest: the one thing in life
that you cannot fake is showing up, so you have to be an active, engaged member of your community. i grew up in a modest household. neither of my parents went to college. my father was an electrician and a scholarship from his union allowed me to go to college, so i understand what it takes to get to the next level, have a good job and create jobs. i have a good perspective on what constituents need and i plan to be engaged. host: here is a story from "usa today." the median net worth is over $1 million of the new members of congress. how do you get more diversity among the ranks of congress?
guest: i think the main issue the country faces is competitiveness. if we think about creating jobs , not just any jobs, but jobs that have a good standard of living, we have to be competitive country and compete for the good jobs in the future. as a country, we have spent time talking about important things, the things that do not relate to what we need to do to get our economy growing, and what i think we need to do is improve educational outcomes. there has never been a stronger correlation in our countries history between getting a good education and having a job. there are a lot of good things coming out of congress on immigration. we need to invest in the infrastructure of this country, which is critical and will create jobs in the short term and lay the foundation for long- term. we need a new energy policy. the most important numbers are
the cost of money and the cost of energy and we have an opportunity to keep the cost of energy down and do it in a clean, green way. these are things we need to focus on to make the economy more competitive and they will create jobs. host: the headline in "the washington post." senators outlined immigration overhaul plan. what should be done? guest: the proposal addresses any the things we need to do. if you think about the world globally, people around the world are almost laughing at our immigration policy. people want to come to this country and create jobs. half of the fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants. will we say that in 75 years? if you look at companies that went public in the technology
industry that received venture capital he -- capital, 90% were founded by immigrants. this is an important issue for keeping the best and the brightest in this country. there is also another category of workers needed, and i think the proposal will address that as well, agriculture. it is essential. host: adam, prescott valley, arizona. democrats line. hi, adam. caller: good morning. i have a question about our finances. i was wondering if there would be bipartisan support for a measure that would raise the federal adam wage because it seems -- minimum wage because it seems like the publicans do not want to tax the rich, they want to cut spending, and would it not be a tax on the rich basically if we were to raise the federal minimum wage?
host: minimum wage? guest: i think raising the minimum wage should be considered. one of the challenges we face as a country are the employment numbers, but behind those numbers, the quality of jobs, and whether people have a decent standard of living, and i think looking to raise the minimum wage is something we should be doing. i think one of the most important things we can do is make sure people have jobs that have a decent standard of living, and minimum wage is a component of that because it puts a floor on what people will earn. host: should the minimum wage be decided at the federal level, the state level -- who should take the lead? guest: it is a big country with lots of different regional issues. we need federal leadership, which does not mean we cannot have specific state proposals to address regional issues
unique to the region. host: congressman john delaney is a freshman representing maryland sixth district. the district was redrawn a little bit. tell us about who you represent. guest: it starts right outside of washington, dc, gaithersburg, germantown, very much tied to dc, and jobs around the dc government and federal spending, etc.. the district also spreads to the western panhandle of maryland, so it has an urban population, a suburban population and even a rural population. host: what are the challenges in designing such an economically diverse area with different values -- challenges in representing such an
economically diverse area with different values? guest: i do not think the values are different. they present differently because if you live in a rural community or in urban committee , the traffic, how you shop -- those are different, but the fundamental underlying values are similar. the district has a lot of issues and it does not break down between the washington suburbs in the rural areas. one of the focuses is the effect of the reduction in federal spending on the local economy. maryland is one of the most dependent states on federal spending, after alaska. it is almost like michigan, and
when the auto industry was reduced, it had a disproportionate effect on michigan. the same to some extent is true when the federal government is reduced, and everybody proposes federal spending as a percentage of the economy going down, so it is an issue for maryland, the district of columbia and places like alaska , so it is important in those places to have a thriving arts sector economy to fill in the gap -- writing private sector economy to fill in the gap. -- thriving private sector economy to fill in the gap, so our ability -- and our ability to transition should be better than most. host: cameron, republican. virginia. guest: things for taking my call. you were -- thank you for taking my call.
you said you are a business owner, and i was wondering what you thought about regulation and red tape, especially coming from the epa, and i was wondering what you thought about how that affected people's ability to start and run a business and if you would do anything different. guest: i have been in the private sector for 20 years and started to large-scale businesses -- and we will large- scale businesses, and i never observed regulatory issues come up which does not mean there were not a signal -- issues in starting a business, which does not mean there were not regulations, but it was not a significant barrier. we need regulations to protect consumers and create a lifestyle that we have in this country, though we do not need excessive adulation area we do not need -- excessive regulations.
the administration has tried hard to do things to streamline government and eliminate red tape. technology presents a good opportunity to do some of these things because outside of government we have seen technology make the world much more efficient, and to the extent able do not like things, technology allows them to go around it, so enabling government permit technological perspective should theoretically eliminate red tape and make government more efficient, inviting a better experience for taxpayers. -- creating a better experience for taxpayers. that is something i am in favor of. you mentioned the epa. i do believe we have a significant issue not only in this country, and in the world, which is climate change, and it could have significant consequences for us economically. this is a serious issue. i do support efforts made toward
climate change, though i do believe more needs to be done. host: congressman john delaney,, democrat of maryland, who serves in the financial committee, with subdivisions on consumer credit and oversight and investigation. what do you hope to accomplish? guest: i think we have a significant gap in infrastructure, and that is not just transportation and the structure, but that is communication, energy infrastructure. if you look at the condition of federal budgets, state and local budgets, there is a lot of stress, obviously, so it is hard for government to make the kinds of investments on their own in the infrastructure we need in this country, so we need to embrace private/public partnerships and leveraging the private capital to build
infrastructure. there has never been more private cash and more cash in our banking this country's history, so it is looking for investment opportunity and if the structure is a significant one. putting together -- infrastructure is a significant one. putting together private capital to fund infrastructure takes the burden off of government. that is the first thing i want to focus on. i care about housing. we do not have a good future for housing finance in this country right now. we are operating with the old model, and in my judgment the government is playing too big of a row, and that is not sustainable. we need to layout a plan to have private or its more active. right now, government is providing 90% of the mortgages. prior to the crisis, the number
was 30%. we need a trajectory to get closer to where we were, so we need a new vision that will be different than what we have seen in the past. host: among congressman delaney 's work, he founded blue print maryland. richard, jacksonville, florida. independent. seek out good morning -- caller: had good morning. the paul ryan budget balanced in 20 years and gutted every social program out there. i would like to know your opinion on the budget he is putting out now that he says will balance in 10 years. could you explain how this will be done and what the american people have to look forward to? guest: i have not seen the new
budget proposal, so i cannot comment specifically, but the notion of taking 10 years or 20 years does not really get at the issue we face as a country. people throw out these dates to get attention as opposed to really getting at the substance of what we need to do. we need to get on a different fiscal trajectory, changing the trends, and we need to stop spending significantly more than we take in as a country. there is broad understanding that we have to do that. a key question is how do we do that. i have been in favor of a balanced approach with additional revenues, higher rates, broadening the base and dealing with spending challenges which includes government spending and entitlement spending. putting in place a trajectory that changes the direction so that we stop spending what i ha- more than we take in, and also that makes the needed
investments that we need is very important. right now, we spend about half as much on younger americans as we do on older americans. if you look at the money we end on people -- we spend on people over the age of 65, it is twice the amount that we spend on people under 18. that ratio will grow. i am not saying we need to spend a lot less on older americans, we need to invest in younger americans, because our current trajectory is not sustainable. some of the issues i had with mr. ryan's budget was shifting the risk in entitlement programs to elderly americans. we have to change the trajectory of health care spending aired -- spending. we could have 1950s health-care health care,50's
and do not think anyone wants that. we clearly need deep, structural reforms on how healthcare is delivered and i do not think elderly americans are in the best positions to drive those reforms. by shifting the risk to elderly americans we will not drive the reforms and we will actually make elderly americans to some extent secure and poor, which -- more sick and more poor, which comes back to the government. that was an issue i had with mr. reflects aet as it poor understanding of how private markets work. he has never been the private sector, so there is a lack of reality on how you been cost curves. i am in favor of a balanced approach that changes the trajectory and it does not focus on numbers you pull out of the
air because to some extent those numbers are guesses because unless we agree on assumptions, how much the economy will grow, what the unemployment number will be, you can make those numbers mean anything you want. the key is to change the trajectory, get the priorities they -- straight, because budgets are statements of choices, but we need to invest in the future. host: tom tweets in and wants to know how you feel about a fair tax. guest: it is an interesting idea, but i do not think it is practical. you need to have a principled and a practical view. it is interesting, but i do not see how we get from where we are now to that point. having said that, we clearly need to change and have comprehensive tax reform. we have 300 items of taxes, and 200 items of deductions.
it is a fairly complicated situation and it leads to unintended outcomes in terms of how the economy works. i am in favor of comprehensive tax reform, limiting certain reductions, and i do not think we can do something, even though it is appealing, as simple as that. host: steve, new richmond, ohio. democrat. caller: we have had low taxes for 10 years now. is it not just common sense that companies hired by supply and demand? another question is i have is i do not understand why the federal government has its own retirement and the people are separate in social security. would it not sure them both up with the with them together and quit darling money from them? -- borrowing money from them?
guest: let's talk about the tax rates. on a historical basis -- basis, they have been low. in the last 12 months, they were about 16.5%, and over a 30 year average is closer to 19%, or 20%, and during the clinton administration, the last time we balanced the budget, it was 19%, so they are lower than they have ever been, which to some extent i have looked at as a stark statistic when people say we need to have taxes that are lower. we have already been operating at an historically low level and the burden on government is greater than it has ever been. people over 65, they will be about 20% in 1980, it was 10% or 12%. it is one of the reasons that is
part of a balanced approach -- that as part of a balanced approach i have been in favor of raising revenue. it should come from a broader base, but to say we do not need higher rates is to some extent ignoring the table -- the data. i always try to come up with a balance, regional approach bringing in both sides. in terms of private sector experience, i never made a decision based on tax policy, so to some extent that is a myth often put forward by people that do not have private sector experience. i never made an investment or a hiring decision a stun tax policy. -- or a hiring decision waste on tax policy. -- based on tax policy. i would argue that if we lowered capital gains, cash would
accumulate further because investors would be so concerned about the future trajectory of the country that they would not want to invest. what makes people invest is fiscal stability and some understanding of what the future will look like, which is by -- why a balanced approach will encourage or corporate investment and get to the point of your question, creating more jobs. host: can you get two more specifics on what you do with entitlements? you talked about the tax elements, but what can democrats afford to go with the bargaining -- to the bargaining table with? guest: i am in favor of raising the retirement age. for people that engage in manual labor, i would take a different position because i think how long you live is relative if you are not doing heavy lifting every day. i would be in favor of raising the retirement age, cost of living adjustments.
i think we as democrats should be leading in that area. host: are democrats? guest: we are starting to, but the argument is about investing in the future. i am not in favor of reforming entitlements so that we can lower taxes. i am in favor of reforming entitlements so that we can invest in kids, the infrastructure and things that will create a better future. the most vulnerable people in our society right now are our kids because unless we change priorities they will be vulnerable as kids, as middle- aged americans, and as older americans. when we talk about attacking the most vulnerable, we need to come to the -- protecting the most vulnerable, to need to come to the table and that is where i would make changes to entitlements programs. unless we make changes to entitlements for rims, changes
to other very sick -- entitlement programs, changes to other very significant government expenditures, we will not be in a position to invest in kids and education. infrastructure is really laying the groundwork for them to have a good future. host: congress and john delaney, democrat of maryland -- congressman john delaney, democrat of maryland. this is the first time he ran for office, beating roscoe bartlett, a republican who had the seats -- seat for two decades. let's go to a tweet from right- wing radical. the government is far too involved in the private sector and businesses do not want to cooperate. guest: i do not think that is true. i was the youngest ceo in the history of the new york stock exchange.
i have financed over 5000 small businesses around the country. i do not think most people in the private sector have that perspective. if you go around the world, and you look you see a very good relationship between the public and private sector. some things our government will such as education, immigration reform, infrastructure, setting a national energy policy, creating tax policy that would cause us to have the right incentives and in the economy and businesses. they do it in partnership with the private sector. if we have shared goals and we work together, get the best outcomes. i just don't agree with the notion that most people in the private sector think government is evil. i thing most people think government can do some very good things. the government should not come
to the table thinking that it creates jobs, because the private sector creates jobs. the government definitely does things like a level playing field, create the right incentives, and creates a backbone of infrastructure and education and things like that, if so we can have a successful private economy. so i don't agree with the approach that government is not a partner with private sector. host: next call comes from connecticut on the republican line. hi, charles. good morning caller:. my question may be a little simplistic. here in connecticut, if i break a no law and everybody knows about it, i get prosecuted. as far as i know, there is a national law that congress present a budget every year. is a legal responsibility. what i want to know is when it
goes on for years, like three years and now four years that no budget is presented, how come nobody is prosecuted? i just wanted no -- they're breaking the law. guest: congress has presented budgets in the past. i'm a freshman in congress now, so i cannot speak to one has caused congress to not act around budgets in the past. but the house has presented budgets in the past. the president has presented budgets. the problem is there's a lack of consensus about how to make difficult choices. when i look at our fiscal situation, on the one hand i'm very proud of the country, because even though we are having very difficult cockfights about priorities in budgeting, we are acknowledging court broadly that we have a problem, that we cannot continue to spend significantly more than we take in, and we have to change the
fiscal trajectory. that agreement around that principle was not as broadly held five or seven years ago as it was today. the country is made good progress of acknowledging that we have to deal with this fiscal such a nation in the country. we disagree significantly on how to do that and what our priorities are and what choices we should make as a country for dealing with the fiscal trajectory and how to reverse its or put it on the health introductory. that is an important debate. it is debate that likely will take time to play out. we should not expect these things to necessarily fix themselves quickly. we would all of that. the fiscal system which american today, based on policies that have been in place a very long time and a certain perspective as to how we ran the country and grant government, changing those policies and changing the orientation of government, which is what i believe we need to do,
will take time. i think this is going to be a very important debate that will go on for some time. to some extent it will be part of the next 10 years of all of our lives. righting of the ship and what our priorities are for doing that. it's frustrating that it cannot happen quicker. host: barry is a democrat in bethesda, maryland. caller: i just have a comment about the economic model that seems to be in their object of discussion throughout this entire congressional debates, which is that the republicans have an argument that without security, without inherent knowledge of what is going to happen, they will not invest -- private-sector job creators will not invest money. that seems to be counter to everything that is part of a
supply and demand economic model. if you're not going to create jobs based on what the tax whether you oare or have too much regulation. you create jobs is strictly on demand for products and services. i don't ever hear that brought up in the discussions. if there is not a demand for your products, you have no incentive to create new jobs. and the demand comes from the bottom up. it is completely counter to this trickle-down economics. other republicans seem to be proposing. guest: i agree with a lot of what you say. as a private sector participants, i never made a decision about -- based on tax law. you are right to say that the private sector makes decisions based on demand.
they make decisions based on current demands and based on their view of what they project. it is the latter category that really involves investments. you have a lot of demand, if you are running a retail business and you are sensing sales are up november, then you will hire more around the holidays because you're expecting a bigger holiday season for. that fills a short-term demand. what businesses also do is they have a view as to what the future is and what future business prospects will look like if, and they make investments around those. that is where businesses get nervous, because they want to have some sense as to what the future holds before they make those investments. u.s. corporations right now have more cash than ever. u.s. corporations have three options in terms of what to do with their cash. in either raise dividends, buy back their stocks, or make investments. over the last several years they've been raising dividends and buying back their stock. if they cannot actually been making investments. one of the reasons is there's a
fair amount of uncertainty. when they run models, they show that if things play out badly from an economic perspective, the outcomes are not particularly good. that makes them had their investments. one of the things that i would help business is to put the country on a decent trajectory, it is why i'm in favor of a large scale grand bargain. i don't think you have to balance the deficit any specific amount of time. it is not really mean anything to me. the private sector sees the government is taking meaningful steps to changed the trajectory of how we're managing the country's fiscal and, then i think that will provide a lot of certainty and confidence that the economic future of the country will be strong and will cause them to make investments. if the government were to do certain things by putting in place infrastructure policies, making changes to immigration rules, that in their judgment would make the future of our
country and their business more competitive or cause them to say it will be better to locate operations here rather than overseas. i think that would also cause them to make investments. what's important in terms of getting all the capital that exists in the private sector invested in our economy is to create a sense of stability. taxes are only relevant to that because taxes create that helps to create stability. so that is where taxes are relevant. we want to create fiscal stability, set policies in place but the private sector sees as helping to make the country more competitive. if the private sector and thinks the u.s. is likely on a relative bases to be more competitive in europe, they will typically make a decision to make investments in the u.s. as opposed to europe. if they decided to other parts of the world would likely be more competitive, they would make their investments there. two things we need to do, first,
create fiscal stability. our live there to be a grand bargain style deficit deal that gets us on a trajectory across the long term that we're not dealing with this every few months. that's very destructive in terms of people making investment decisions. second, do some things in terms of policy. national energy policy and its destructive policy. continued investments in education and a change in immigration policy. executives would look at that and see those very positively for the future of the u.s.. there would make the decision on a relative basis, investing more in the united states and less overseas is a good investment for them to make and they would start doing it. host: congressman john delaney is on the potential services committee. and oversight and investigationss. he's the only house member who is a former ceo of a publicly traded company. he founded two nyse-listed listed companies becbefore the
age of 40. rose is on the line. caller: i would like to make a few points. i was wondering if the democrats and especially the republicans realize how angry the american people are right now. they know abouwe have been soldn the river to china. there's no fiscal stability, because no one is investing in the united states, due to nafta. the american people want a flat tax. i don't care what you say. you as a democrat and the person before you, who i wanted to speak to, have to realize how angry the american people really are. they don't want programs cut. they don't want social security raided, as it has been. we know what's going on. as far as gun-control, we need
mental health clinics, not gun control. host: let's go to congressman delaney. guest: thank you, rose. i have a sense as to how angry the american people are. i am new to politics. i spent my career in the private sector. i think i come to the table with a great sensitivity for how people outside government think about government. i think the american people fundamentally understand that the cost of doing nothing is not nothing. that's what we really have in congress. if congress has not acted for the good of the country. they have not done what they were required to do, which is to pass laws, help the common good of the united states. they're really not done that. if there's been a cost to that. people often a big if we do nothing, there's no problem. if in reality, you do not think there's a real cost. we are experiencing that. if i think congress understands that the country is very upset. the problem we have is the incentives right now are flawed
in congress. in other words, people are incentivized in congress to go to the extreme positions in their parties. if we talk about this a lot, but it's true. if you think about the deficit deal, all know we need some kind of a grand bargain, compromise on our deficit. everyone talks about that. every newspaper, every editorial of talks about how we need a grand bargain compromise around our deficit. the problem is, if someone takes an extreme position on one side or another, or comes to the table and says i never raising taxes, i will sign a pledge. there's lots of people to support them in that position. there are organizations, infrastructure, there's a safe home when they take that position. if people come to the table and say i will never cut entitlements, no matter what happens, there's lots of organizations to support them. but when human being stepped forth in congress and sale want to do with good for the country, want to take a balanced approach, and we need to make reforms on entitlements and we
need additional revenue, we need to raise taxes, and then look at defense spending and government spending, do a series of things to get the country on a better trajectory. when those people say that, there's very few people supporting an mp. even though an overwhelming majority of the country feels that way, it is typical it -- they are typically not actively engaged in supporting members of congress to take that position. members of congress should do what is in the best interest of the country. they should not look at their support systems to help them make decisions. unfortunately, at least in the past, many of them have done that. that is a structural flaw that we need to deal with as a country. if we need to create more support for people who serve in office who take the balance, moderate positions and tried to get things done. right now the incentives on all wrong. i am very sensitive to the position you put forth, you are upset with government. i am too. government has not done what we
needed to do to help advance the interests abroad number of american citizens. that's one of the things i want to congress. i think you're getting at the right issue. ityre's a lot of sensitive with your truly and a fair amount of my colleagues. we know what the approval ratings are. if we know people are having a hard time. we know the country expects us to do something. host: congressman john delaney. let's hear from regina in the apollo, pennsylvania, republican line. caller: i believe you said you were part of a nonprofit organization or company, which means that your goal was to do what you could to pull money out of the federal government, the state government, local government, to get money for your non profit. host: the congressman can clarify his business background. background nonprofits guest: my
background is in the private sector. i started two for-profit companies that are public companies and are creating jobs. i also started a nonprofit in maryland called blueprint maryland, it was designed to help put forth a plan to help maryland both the economy and make it more competitive. it was organized as a nonprofit. all the funding for it came from myself, did not take money from anyone to start a nonprofit. the point of the non-profit was to look at the competitive situation of maryland. maryland is a state that is overly dependent on federal spending. it is the third most dependent state in the country from an economic standpoint on federal spending if you look at job creation. it is my view that the future holds reduced federal spending as a percentage of our economy. so that is a threat to maryland. i wanted to organize an effort to help look at that situation and come up with ideas that would help make the state more competitive if so we could create good jobs for the citizens. host: ken from mississippi on
our independent line. >> good morning. representative delaney, i am going to challenge you and c- span. the simpson-bowles national commission on fiscal responsibility and reform, this was the most critical first step in solving the u.s. financial crisis. a lot of people -- and some of them that i will quote are small sample of the political and other authorities and supported simpson-bowles. was erskine bowles, a democrat, and alan simpson, a republican, tom coburn, a republican, dick durbin, democrat, judd gregg, a republican, alice rivlin, alan greenspan, former federal chairman, paul volcker a, a former federal chairman, michael bloomberg, mayor of new york, david walker, former head of the
gao, warren buffett -- host: tell us what you are concerned about that? caller: because that is the white elephants. this is the challenge i have for you, congressman, and for c- span. every financial person that comes on, ask them a simple question -- where would our country be today had we adopted the simpson-bowles report? we would not be in the mess we are in. the people that are on the hill that are passing all these bills would be in check. guest: for me it is simple. i would vote for simpson-bowles to better the country would be in a better position if we had adopted simpson-bowles. that is the direct answer to your question. i think mr. simpson-bowles and alan simpson are american heroes. and given a very important job. the president to sign them with a task of looking at the challenges we face as a country fiscally. he instructed them -- and this
show great vision by the president -- instructed them to put together a bipartisan group of thoughtful people who had expertise, and could bring different perspectives and to form a commission to tackle the central issue facing our country. they went and did that. that's unusual in washington. someone given a job and they do it. they came back with a proposal that was balanced, fair, had a meaningful and taken out of the deficit. it was not perfect. i did not agree with everything in it. you cannot always have it every way. but i thought it was great and i would have voted for it and the country would be in a better position. i think it still remains the framing document for how we should think about our deficit negotiations -- our deficit situation going forward. host: a tweet -
guest: when the ideas i have is to work on our infrastructure. creating a public-private partnership model to do it. there's an enormous amount of capital in the private sector right now. there's a very significant need for infrastructure in this country. if we could rebuild the infrastructure, we cannot only create a lot of jobs in the short term, but we could also lay the groundwork for more competitive america. infrastructure is important to that. that is one of the specific things i'm working on. i also think, in general, the issue that is important is u.s. competitiveness. i think we have talked so much in this country about tax policy. we have talked so much about government. these are important debates, but they have nothing to do with the important challenges we face of the country. important challenges we face are entirely due to globalization and technology, two trans bennett helped americans than
ever of a good education to have access to capital. it has hurt most americans. it happened too quickly and we were not prepared. that's one of the things i want to work on as a member of congress. host: thank you, john delaney, of the six district of maryland. coming next we will talk about al qaeda's presence in africa with our guest peter pham of the atlantic council. first, a news update from c-span radio. >> its jonica 21 eastern. some international news. residents in three egyptian cities are ignoring a nighttime curfew and a state of emergency declared by president mohamed morsi. many are worried that the uprising could spread to other parts of the country. protesters across much of egypt are battling police, cutting off roads and railway lines. at least 60 people have been killed in violence since last friday. meanwhile, the egyptian army chief warned today of "the collapse of the state's, it's a political crisis continues."
he is also the defense minister. he is the first military official to comment on the uprising which began last week. back here in the states, one day after a group of bipartisan senators announced and immigration deal, a new poll is out today that finds a slim majority of americans believe that illegal immigrants should be able to stay in the united states and apply for citizenship. the 51% think illegal immigrants should be able to remain in the country and apply for citizenship while an additional 20% of the patient stay as guest workers. 24% say they should leave the country. while president obama is traveling to las vegas today, or is expected to lay on his immigration overhaul plan, and immigration advocates expect the president's plan to be more progressive than the one proposed yesterday by the group of senators. you can hear the president's remarks live around 2:55 p.m. eastern time on c-span radio or what the president on c-span and
then we will take your phone calls for your reaction. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> georgia o'keeffe was really the first well-known woman artist, even in the 1970's there was no one who could match our fame. she became a feminist icon. i grew up under that influence. my first recognition of her work was not as an artist or an but as a budding feminist was attention was drawn to these fabulous paintings. i lived in colorado. people talked about this woman. it was the way she lived. from 1929 forward, she new mexico for months out of the year, living apart from her husband in the 1930's and 1940's, she continued to do this for 20 years until her residence death. then she moved to mexico full- time. she lights up our
imagination as an artist, because she was so famous, so young. second, she lived the life she wanted to lift and was a very disciplined woman. i think that stands out as women made choices even right through to the 1970's, they made choices that accommodate family and other pursuits in their lives. georgia o'keeffe had one driving passion in life and it was there are. >> the georgia o'keeffe museum in santa fe, new mexico, just one of the places you'll see , looking behind the scenes at the history and libertarithe literary life of se on saturday at noon and on sunday at 5:00 p.m. >> "washington journal" continues.
host: j. peter pham is with the atlantic council. thanks for coming this morning to talk about al qaeda in africa. here is the front page of cq weekly -- is africa the next front in a war on terror? guest: it is certainly going to be a significant front, much more significant than perhaps we have given it credit for being in recent years. we have until very recently until last weekend, northern mali was the largest territory controlled by an al qaeda- affiliated group anywhere in the world, an area roughly the size of texas. we also have active islamist extremists groups not only there in that region of africa but in somalia, the horn of africa, as well as in northern nigeria where the boko haram extremists have been carrying out a
campaign of violence that have left thousands dead in the last few years alone. host: how close is it tied to what americans think of as al qaeda and coming from places like afghanistan, pakistan? guest: the group in northern mali, it is making the news these days, is very closely tied. al qaeda and islamic maghrib were the first real franchise of al qaeda outside the middle east and south asia. this group had been formed in the 1990's to fight to overthrow the government of algeria. it metastasized over time. of syrians in north africa were the largest group present foreign fighters into iraq during the first stage of the u.s. presence over there. that led to five years ago when it formally allied itself with al qaeda, the first franchise. there's no direct command and
control from al qaeda central, but they draw from the same equality and inspiration and one could argue and that they have been the most effective in recent days. host: here's a headline from the wall street journal -- why should americans care what is happening in mali? guest: this has become the most attractive place for jihadist around the world to gather especially since the french intervention occurred three weeks ago. foreign fighters coming into the region not only from across africa, but in december the fbi arrested two man in alabama who are planning to go there to receive training and who knows what they're or planning to do after that. so it is an area of growing concern. for europe, it is especially disconcerting, because of a
large population of the diaspora, roughly a 10th of the french population. host: here's a headline in the washington journal -- if we don't have boots on the ground, what can we do? guest: one could argue that is not necessarily the most effective strategy. this is a large area, very sparsely populated. these al qaeda-link extremists in the region and local allies have been there for a number of years. a buildup and knowledge of the topography, ties with local tribes and other groups, so they're very well integrated. it will not be easy to root them out in a conventional fight as the french and their african partners are going to find out of very soon, unfortunately. there are some key leaders who
need to be dealt with one way or the other. these are men who built up an interesting network. this is where al qaeda has been its most entrepreneurial. over the last decade, this group has made tens of millions of dollars in kidnappings for ransom, in protecting narco traffickers, including un- american cartels, shipping cocaine to europe, and other smugglers. then the libyan conflict occurred and they used the war chest they had built up over the years of tens of millions of dollars to hire experienced fighters and mercenaries of and to buy up at discount prices a flood of weapons that came out of moammar gaddafi's stockpile. they're very well-armed and it will be difficult to root them out. host: if you would like to speak with peter pham about al qaeda in africa, here are the numbers to call --
we have paul on the line from tennessee, a republican. caller: good morning. how are you all? i would like to ask your guest, in the 1990's they bombed our embassy in somalia and kenya. the next thing was the uss cole. the u.s. has no response to this. they just sit there and watch and listen as these people were killed. i think it was 17 sailors on the ship that were killed. my question is, if we just sit back and watch these guys just keep doing what they do, how much longer will it be before more americans are killed, like in libya? this president and the secretary of state, they sidestep all the questions. mrs. clinton said it did not matter at this point. do you believe this administration is incompetence of doing their jobs of protecting american lives?
guest: thanks for the call. my response would be there has to be a response. you're absolutely right that failure to respond can be taken and is often taken by these groups as a sign of weakness and they use it in their propaganda and recruitment. however, responding does not necessarily always mean putting boots on the ground. in the situation in northern mali, i don't think it's necessarily a prudent to put boots on the ground. the weber, i'm not opposed to other actions that would eliminate the threat, including dealing with certain leaders who stand at the nexus between the extremist groups, the criminal organizations, and the tribal structures that help protect. you eliminate some of these key individuals and you break those connections. it's not the best option. it's not the preferred option. it's not the clean option. but it is effective. i think a case can be made for that, to allow for a space of
time when we can then concentrate on the task of reestablishing the government's authority there, allowing the government time to build up its infrastructure and its framework. host: the u.s. africa commander, general carter i am a coma spoke last week in washington and addressed the ability to eliminate al qaeda and other groups from mali. [video clip] >> we would all like to see the elimination of al qaeda and others from northern mali. probably the best you can get is containment, realistically, and disruption, so that al qaeda is no longer able to control territory as they do today, no longer to control the lives of the population centers, particularly in the three main cities of timbuktu, and two other cities. those have to be freed and restored under malian control.
i think that is what i would see as the end starte. i think others in the african union see that as well. we very clearly see this from the u.s. government side that this must be in fact and in perception an african-led endeavour that is done at the request of the malian government. i think that is well under way now. host: that is the commander of the u.s. africa command. here are headlines in the papers this morning about the poll in the wall street journal -- about expanding the role of the u.s. in africa -- we also see the new york times -- and the washington post says the u.s. is seeking a new drone bass to bolster spine in africa. what is the significance?
guest: the dedication of resources. we recognize the threat. the defense department and agencies, i give them credit for recognizing the threat and now moving to secure the intelligence. we cannot operate in a blind or operator flexibly. we need intelligence that can be supplied in real time and ultimately perhaps other options are on the table. it is a good of. niger has been one of the few countries in the region that have taken this threat seriously from the beginning and have been forceful advocate for containment and pushing back against the extremists. they know what it means to be on the frontlines firsthand. so they have been very committed to it. it is one of the few african countries than has honored its commitment to supply troops to the operation in mali. the details of the agreements that have been reported have not been released regarding niger,
but once they are, i think it's a good step to better position ourselves against the threat. host: charles is a democrat in alabama. caller: i love c-span. thanks for doing what you do and not being so biased. i have a couple questions. osama bin laden, we got him in may of 2011. he was banished from saudi arabia, i think. he was given protection in one of the north african countries , started living in jihadist fashion. what country gave him statehood or protection in north africa? also, i would like you to comment on no. darfur and now there's a possibility that some of the people in the north who
were committing genocide and other forms of physical and psychological warfare, maybe the possibility of them moving over into mali. i like to have your comments on that. thank you. guest: thank you, charles. the answer to your question, it was sudan which in the 1990's gave shelter to osama bin laden. that was one of the reasons for why when president clinton launched a missile attack on sudan. your comment is a very good one about the question of whether fighters from daraa for, perhaps some of those who ever been involved in the genocide, are possibly moving to join the fight in northern mali. we have credible reports in recent months of fighters from throughout africa, including some from the refugee camps in southern algeria, those who oppose morocco's claims to the
western sahara, to actually fighters from darfur and sudanese fighters as well as some from nigeria and other african countries joining. we also have people from farther afield. so this area of northern mali really has become a magnet for fighters from throughout not only africa but the middle east and beyond. that is the correct perception that has led a number of leaders including the french president to decide to intervene. host: dennis up next on our independent line from richmond, virginia. caller: thanks for taking my call. i don't think the african union truly understands how bad this is for africa that foreigners keep getting involved on the continent. this is a declaration of war on the entire continent. they need to stop this. they need to stop the french
from being able to come into a country. they need to be able to stop nato from coming into countries on the continent. europe would not allow other foreigners to do this in europe. why would the africans allow this? they should not allow foreigners who colonized the bus and insulate us in the past to do this. these are our enemies. what is the true motive of the french for coming into mali? it is certainly not because they care. they are former colonial masters, people that enslaved us. these are our enemies. what is the reason they have come? certainly not because they care. guest: i think we are in agreement that most people -- the u.s. administration, the state department has noted in a statement that general ham said
earlier also, everybody would like this to be an african-led solution. it's the only way to go ahead. unfortunately, although many of the african countries talk a great deal about getting involved, with the exception of a few. niger, i mentioned earlier. morocco has been leading on this, raising awareness on this issue for some time. mali, a year-and-a-half ago i posted the malian foreign minister here in washington where he was warning about what was coming. unfortunately, many african countries still not developed the political will to grasp -- grapple with other own problems. the african and west african states but together program before the french intervention to send 3,300 troops eventually to deal with this issue. pour liquid troops not speaking of the same language from
english-speaking countries and french-speaking countries to re-kanagawa and secure an area the size of texas. that is delusional. -- to reconquer and secure an area the size of texas. they would be swallowed up by the desert. until these organizations in africa developed a political will and capacity to handle these challenges, will end up happening is the countries most directly and threatened will appeal, as mali, niger, and others have asked for outside help to deal with it. unfortunately, their neighbors are not coming to their aid. host: peter pham and is atlantic council. prior positions include serving as the senior vice president at the national committee on american foreign policy and editor of the bimonthly journal "american foreign-policy interests." he was also on the senior advisory group of the u.s. africa command, since its creation. and was vice president for the
position of the study of the middle east and africa. let's hear more from the commander of u.s. africa command at howard university last week. [video clip] >> our mission is to protect america and american interests from threats that may emerge from the continent of africa. we see this manifest itself in somalia with al-shabab. in the maghreb in the sahara, as putting out now in mali with al qaeda in the lands of the islamic maghreb. ansar al din as well. in nigeria, the existence of boko haram. these organizations all focused on undermining the governments of those countries and establishing their own regime of control outside of legitimate government control. i am very concerned about each of those individual entities such as al-shabab and the
others, it is increasingly the coordination, the synchronization of efforts of those different organizations that is of concern to me. we are starting to see increasing collaboration, sharing of funding, sharing in recruiting efforts, sharing of weapons and explosives, and certainly a sharing of ideology that is expanding and connecting these various organizations. host: general carter ham. peter pham, there's been a report about this emerging trends in africa. guest: first, on the resources available for u.s. africa command.
second, the basic issue. certainly i think there's a growing recognition real threats to the united states and u.s. interests and american citizens as well as our allies in africa. hopefully, despite fiscal constraints under which we all labor in washington, there will be greater resources necessary to fully staff the command. as far as basing, for now, europe is the best base for the command, for several reasons. african countries are very sensitive about their sovereignty in. independents is relatively recent. second, it's a question of infrastructure. there are very few if any african countries where you can put down a u.s. command, even assuming a will impose, or the presence of that many americans would not disproportionately impact the city in question, its infrastructure, and its ability to support that. and there's a connection between
them. staff oppose infrastructure for transport is still developing. to move from one part of africa to another oftentimes in my own travels i have to return to europe and come back down. in many ways to save a leg on the journey just by being offshore. host: shane is on the democratic line. caller: good morning. it seems to me, affricom deploying troops from over 30 countries, it is about being in a position to delay and contain the chinese, who are buying up resources all over the place on the continent. if you talk to african heads of state, the people helping them develop their countries and helping them develop their resources are the chinese. it seems to me in mali there is
blowback from the state department went around and now these people are spread out all over the place and jihadist are radicalizing and training more people. i'm pretty sure the french are not there for humanitarian desire. you just saw the germans repatriate all of their gold, so maybe they're running a little low. host: we will look at a map of africa and perhaps you can tell us about where the chinese are working, what interests they have. the sudan and where else? guest: you could cover the entire map, basically. is no place in africa where there are not chinese interests. since 2009, china has surpassed the u.s. as africa's largest
trading partner. it has maintained that the lead. it's not just a matter of resources. it's also developing business opportunities. the largest component of chinese investment in africa today is no longer in the resource extraction. it is in delivery of services. and then manufacturing. underplays, resource acquisition. it is a challenge for american business and for the government to facilitate or at least not obstruct american investments and business in africa. it is a winning proposition, helping develop africa and jobs and growing our own economy here and all appear that's one issue. the other issue is what is africom doing, it has secured american interests by preventing america having to go in, in the future. it is conflict prevention by helping build up the capacity of local security forces to deal
with the training and other issues, so they can deal with their own problems. it is an investment, but one that i think will pay off and one that is welcomed. it goes nowhere where it's not invited by the local officials. the final point that needs to be addressed in that is the fact that the u.s. does have a relationship with the same african states, all these african states. it is a matter of building up that relationship, partnering, and just not when it's convenient for us but also when our partners need assistance. with respect to the french, i have been critical in my writings of the french intervention, the timing, the resources they brought to bear. to be fair to them, if you know little about the geology, almost all the gold and other resources in mali are in the extreme south of the country, far away from the fighting and the conflict as you can get and still being in
mali. to be fair to them, there's nothing in the north as far as resources that is economically viable for anyone to exploit. where reason they went there was not to secure resources. even throughout this past year when there was all the fighting and conflict in the north and the occupation, production in mali actually increased. in august, the largest gold mine in the country was opened. in that sense, you cannot accuse the french. host: let's go to arizona, bob is an independent caller. caller: hi. a quick comment. apparently, the french have forgotten about -- they're going to bring a knife to a gunfight. what are the objectives of all, and what is their bottom line and their philosophy?
why do we continue to a pink that diplomacy is going to bring their perhaps to an end -- their threats? guest: al qaeda and the islamic maghrib, their objective is to establish islamic school in north africa and west africa. we have seen what they've done when they have a territory under control. in the nine or 10 months the occupied northern mali, they imposed on the malian people their bizarre interpretations of sri lanka with amputations -- in interpretations of share real la -- sharia law with amputations and they destroyed monuments in timbuktu and and more.
and their so-called the high against the world, to train fighters how to do that. those are their objectives. as far as what the french are bringing to the fight, i think this intervention, however necessary, the french were not able to bring to bear the forced that perhaps their grandfathers' would have under the same circumstances. the required health from great britain and canada and ultimately the united states for airlift, refueling help from the danes, now the u.s. will help to fuel the airplanes. certainly there's european investment that is telling appeared that will be the real question. having retaken timbuktu and ultimately two other towns, how the french and african countries are even more poorly resourceful.
the topography is a little different from the analogy you mentioned, but there will be a garrison surrounded by a vast expanse which is controlled by the enemy. that will be really telling especially if once the rainy season begins in just eight weeks in mali. and you cannot move in supplies host: overland let's listen to secretary of state hillary clinton last week talking about al qaeda's presence globally. [video clip] >> cor al qaeda certainly has been -- i think you would hear the same from the intelligence community of dod. the work that has been done in afghanistan and the border area between afghanistan and pakistan certainly has taken out a whole cadre of leadership. what we are seeing now are people who have migrated back to other parts of the world, whether they came from primarily, who are affiliate's,
part of the jihadist zynga tips. some of them like al qaeda in the islamic maghrib use that name and others use different names. the fact is they are terrorists. they are extremists. they have designs on overthrowing existing governments, even these new islamist governments are controlling their territory. although there's been the decimation of core of caught in afghanistan and pakistan region, we do have to contend with a bill wannabe's and the affiliate's going forward -- with the wannabes. host: this is in cq weekly --
he's referring to the 9/11 attack in 2001. peter pham, what levee way does the american military have to root out all, in africa? guest: several. one is a military action that is not direct but to support the efforts of an allied-- our oldest ally going back to the revolutionary war, which is requesting logistical help to carry out operations that it deems necessary for its own national security. that gives us enough according to assist the french. going after al qaeda in the islamic maghreb, the legal scholars and legal authorities are going to have to construct the . a little more finely. certainly islamic maghrib is a
formal part of al qaeda. bin laden served five years ago and they made pledges of allegiance to bin laden himself. greta that is legally sufficient, i defer to the courts and its legal authorities. however, if there's no denying what secretary clinton said about the affiliate's. mokhtar belmokhtar, a young algerian, he trained in al qaeda -- in afghanistan, it came back in the 1990's and fought in that country's islamist insurgency. he joined the group that also? eventually became the islamic maghrib. he will link up with criminal elements in the sahara and built up an empire that has funneled tens of millions of dollars into extremist causes, including the one that he himself leads. it was a brigade be commended which staged the attack on the
gas facility in algeria which led to the loss of life of a dozen foreign nationals including several americans, unfortunately. so he has touched upon u.s. nationals. this is the type of person you have. not directly under the command of al qaeda central, but he was trained by al qaeda, link by them it logically, and was carrying out their work in a different form, but in a more pernicious than in. host: let's hear from carolyn in louisville, kentucky, republican caller. caller: thank you. i'm concerned about the people in southern sudan, the way they have been persecuted. what can we do to help them? in the mountains and in chad, and those areas. guest: there are two things going on. in the short term, yes, as the
administration and united nations have held repeatedly, south sudan and north sudan need to respect the agreement and peace accords, stop interfering with each other on both sides, and allow humanitarian aid to flow to the areas affected. that's clear. in the long term, south sudan is now an independent country. its leaders need to take responsibility for what they are doing. they have to stop this cutting off the nose to spite your face. they have cut off the oil supply despite the north, but then they get no revenue. there's been very little investment. last year their president had to write a letter to top government officials begging them to please give back some of the $4 billion they stole. if that was so he could meet current payroll and other bills. that's not a way forward. ultimately, the responsibility for that cannot be blamed on the north. although the north of has caused terrible suffering in the south
over the years. it is on their own leaders who are robbing a little they have and stowing away abroad. so they have to attract business, bring in investment. in order to do that, they have to reform the government. host: roberta on our independent line in massachusetts. caller: how are you? i saw a video last evening about the liberation of gahw. it really struck me. i'm glad you are focusing on this today, because i'm not sure how much coverage this is getting and how much of a threat these folks are, these islamists, to arab -- as a female, i would just like to say it is very threatening to me. it might be far away and maybe not right here, but i wish there was more discussion of this.
i wish more women were focused that thisoducthreats ideology has towards women. so i just really appreciate you focusing on this today. host: thank you. let's get a response. we are almost out of time. guest: your right. we intend to take the 30,000 foot view of our interests, our allies interests. when it gets down to it, the threat of the ideologist ordinary people, two men, women, children who have this authoritarian -- or totalitarian ideologies thrust upon them. i saw some of the same video that you saw, women join us that they don't have to walk around shrouded against wilkins. it's one thing if you are veiled because you believe in it. -- shrouded against their will.
and corporate punishment. one of the positive things of the military intervention is to see people living life, the malian that i have known, to be able to enjoy the love of life, the love of music, all those being freedoms that were banned by the extremists during the 10 months there were in control. host: an independent caller from redding, pennsylvania. caller: i am not an american and not even independent, but just try to make a comment. i think it's more than just mali. the french government is also concerned about niger, where the french are getting 10% of the uranium for electricity power. so i think the u.s. government should do better than just waiting for france to take the lead.